In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out which treatment was better for stage 1 breast cancer, either breast-conserving surgery plus radiotherapy, or mastectomy alone. The study found that breast conserving surgery plus radiotherapy was better than mastectomy for patients with stage 1 breast cancer.
There are a number of treatment options for early stage breast cancer. Breast conserving surgery involves removing the tumor and some of the breast tissue, but not removing the whole breast. This type of surgery is often done alongside radiotherapy. Another type of treatment is mastectomy, where the whole breast and some surrounding lymph nodes are removed. It is not known which of these treatments is better overall.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 6137 patients. Of these, 1296 had breast conserving therapy and radiotherapy. The remaining 4841 had mastectomies. All the patients had stage 1 breast cancer. On average the patients were followed for 55 months after treatment.
After 5 years, it was found that 99% of the patients who received breast conserving surgery and radiotherapy were still alive. This is compared to 96% in the group who received mastectomy. After 10 years, it was found that 92% of the patients who received breast conserving surgery and radiotherapy were still alive. This is compared to 90% in the group who received mastectomy.
Overall it was found that the patients who received breast conserving surgery plus radiotherapy were 53% less likely to have the cancer spread compared to the patients who received mastectomy. It was also found that the patients who received breast conserving surgery plus radiotherapy were 40% less likely to have the cancer come back compared to the patients who received mastectomy.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that breast conserving surgery plus radiotherapy has better results compared to mastectomy alone for patients with stage 1 breast cancer.
The fine print
This is a very large study which is well conducted. Most of the patients in the study were of Asian descent. The data in this study was collected from 1999-2014. It is important to note that as time has gone on, a lot more patients are having breast conserving surgery plus radiotherapy, compared to mastectomy.
Discuss with your oncologist which treatment might be better for you.
Published By :
Clinical Breast Cancer
Oct 01, 2018
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